Mozambique: Over 1.8 million people face food insecurity

The Mozambican authorities estimate that over 1.8 million people live in a situation of acute food insecurity in the country, with the number expected to fall but still be above 1.4 million in 2022.

The figures are the result of the “Assessment of post-harvest food and nutritional security 2021”, carried out in October by the Technical Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security (Setsan), an entity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, has the highest number of food-insecure people, around 932,000 people, due to armed insurgency in the region.

It is followed by the northern province of Nampula, with some 84,000 people who do not know where their next meal will come from, and the southern province of Gaza, with over 80,600 people.

The province of Tete, in the central region, is the fourth with the highest number of food-insecure people, with over 62,000 people.

The provinces of Niassa, in the north, and Maputo, in the south, concentrate the lowest number, around 39,800 and 58,000 people, respectively.

The assessment said that, as well as terrorism in Cabo Delgado, lack of rain in some regions, the effect of floods and cyclones in others, along with the impact of Covid-19, had pushed over 1 million people into a situation of food insecurity in Mozambique.

The document also indicates that families in Matola, a suburb of Maputo, are the most vulnerable in the country.

According to the data, 90% of households in Matola suffered a natural, economic or social shock in the last 12 months, followed by the city of Chimoio with 88%, Beira with 77%, Xai-Xai with 70%, and Nampula with 69%.

The cities of Lichinga and Tete had the lowest percentages, with 4% and 19%, respectively.

The assessment said that 951,000 people had received food aid from the World Food Programme (WFP) in September of this year in Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces.

The WFP has committed to maintaining food support in November and December, benefiting 945,000 people in those two provinces due to a lack of resources. The quantities delivered correspond to 39% of the daily energy of each person.